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Ask Dad

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Ask Dad

Published 1929
Topics comedy, short

Comedic short starring Edward Everett Horton.

You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.

Run time 22:15
Producer E.W. Hammons
Production Company Coronet Comedies
Audio/Visual sound, b&w


Edward Everett Horton
Ruth Renick
Winston Miller


Reviewer: FreedomIsNOTFree - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 21, 2015
I love the innocent humor! Men were men and ladies were ladies! The secretary was cute and mature. The son was respectful with manners. Got to love it! Wish ladies were like this today and men were men. :)

Semper Fi
Reviewer: unclepup - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 26, 2012
Subject: Another forgotten star
I rated this high because it is exactly what it was intended to be, an early use of sound to entertain relatively unsophisticated audiences. It is also a very rare chance to see and hear Miss Ruth Renick. She had a minor career but was very attractive and not afraid to speak right up for the microphone. So many ladies like her just faded away.
Reviewer: justywusty87 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 17, 2010
Subject: Funny
Lol, funny film. Feel bad for the son though.
Reviewer: patt17 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 22, 2010
Subject: Put it in context, and enjoy
This is tightly constructed, gentle little piece from a by-gone era when people still had vocabularies and a sense of decorum. Basically, you'll either appreciate that or you won't. My thanks to the person who uploaded this lovely short.
Reviewer: 1110babe - favoritefavorite - January 10, 2010
Subject: sort of a warm up for E E Horton's later roles
The actor who played his son looked so much like him and did okay as an awkward, poetry spouting, lovesick teenager. EEH fit the bill as the older man who never had been any slicker than his son and who was long out of practice with the ladies. And the secretary handled the situation to everyone's advantage. I would say it was a human comedy, a one act study in old-fashioned as opposed to Roaring Twenties relationships, rather than a comedic short.
Reviewer: Big Boomer - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 10, 2008
Subject: Ask Dad
Ask Dad is a swell little comedy short. It represents the earliest films which were shot on a stage like setting and the actors gave performances as though the camera were a theater audience. There are very few medium shots or close-ups so the editing must have been simple and quick. Many of these comedy short features were shown as prologues to the feature films. The Our Gang series are among the best examples of this genre.

The acting style of the son was considered high comedy by the audiences of the era, though seen as stilted and awkward by today's standards. Close listening reveals a syncopated delivery of the lines which might have been the ancestor of the modern comedic pause. (And, um,....yeah.) Similar comedic character portrayals can be found in the early Fred Astaire films.
Reviewer: g rated - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 20, 2008
Subject: 4 star comedy
I only rate the comedies that I consider
4 or 5 . this one is a 4 on my list
Reviewer: Charlie/Busterfan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 11, 2007
Subject: The Best Comedy short I've Ever Seen
It was very funny.I didn't know that it was going to turn out the way it did about miss wilson having a crush oh her boss.
Reviewer: ragah1 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 8, 2006
Subject: Ask Dad is funny
What a cute movie. It was pretty funny.
Reviewer: trueblue1144 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 18, 2005
Subject: Ask Dad
Very well done. Had me laughing many times.
Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 1, 2005
Subject: Funny for its time
One must remember sound films were still technically developing. This may account for some of the stagnant movement. Still, I find all the actors do a good job. For 1929, this script has humor. It doesn't need a lot of physical action.
Reviewer: Pat Hobby - favoritefavorite - October 1, 2005
Subject: Talkie talkies ...
Was like watching an old play from the 3rd row. Not much of a film, more like an experiment in sound recording.

If you want to see a FUNNY film (but not quite as old) check this one out:
Reviewer: Silverfish - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 23, 2004
Subject: engaging comedy
I really enjoyed this comedy. I particular like the fast talking of 'dad' dictating letters, and his quick changed of tone of voice.

The contrivances of the plot are fairly predictable, but this isn't really about the plot for me, but the generally sharp dialogue. It isn't a constant stream of comedy, but there is rather a lot of comedy squeezed into the film.

Overall, well worth a watch.
Reviewer: ccandreva - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 22, 2004
Subject: Dialogue-based comedy
This is essentially a one-act stage play. There is no physical comedy here, all the humor comes from the dialogue. If you want action, then yes it will be dull. This is a very different type of comedy then Sennett.

For some reason it reminded me of "The Importance of being Ernest".

Having said all of that -- I laughed very hard at this movie.
Reviewer: 2muchtv - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 25, 2004
Subject: Where were you the year the Market crashed?
An opulent office, a precocious son with a crush on a working girl, and a delightful tete-a-tete between a demur secretary and the fuming boss, Ask Dad is a sparkling gem that offers a tantalizing peek at American culture before the Great Depression. ItÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs subtlety apparently somewhat beyond the grasp of todayÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs audiences, this campy short is a must see for those who understand the understated and introspective humor of the so-called Roaring Twenties. Edward Everett Horton, known to most as the narrator of Jay WardÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂFractured Fairy TalesÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ appears as a very young man in this hilarious send up of office politics
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 20, 2004
Subject: But He'll Probably Say No
Edward Everett Horton stars in this rather turgid early 30s comedy short. He plays a businessman whose college-boy son develops a crush on his secretary. Mild comedy tries to ensue, but fails because the script is lame and the timing is clunky. Horton is great as usual, especially when he dictates letters, but he is wasted in this. He needs a situation that is far more wacky and dialogue that is far more sharp to really shine. Still, he tries his best here, and Horton fans may enjoy this little obscurity from early in his career.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Reviewer: cainmark - favoritefavorite - May 13, 2004
Subject: Very stagey
This short film has the wonderful voice of Edward Everett Horton. While the film itself isn't particulary funny or um, even interesting, a lot of the dialog would be great in some current projects. The son's "gosh, gee whiz" delivery was worth the donload alone for me.
Reviewer: cashel - favorite - April 29, 2004
Subject: enjoyed mr horton but NOT the script
Edward Everett Horton once said * I think that I represent to the average male or female,,somebody they know. They will say" Isnt he like the nut who used to live down the street"* Please some more, he made even funnier movies I have reduced my rating to 2. Mr Horton gave great performances in many films . It is a pity that here he is saddled with such a poor script. But it is the only example of his work available to me. CURSE these copyright laws.
Reviewer: PCinoPunk - favorite - April 29, 2004
Subject: UGH!
Where is Hal Roach or Mack Sennett when you need them!! This obscure so called 2-reel comedy is pretty ZZZZZzzz. Does not compare with the Roach or Sennett venues that's for sure.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavorite - March 19, 2004
Awfully stagy 'comedy' about a son's fondness for his Dad's secretary, only to find out his Dad has longings for the secretary too. Although interesting to see a sound comedy from 1929, the dialogue (especially from the son, since he's going to college, says big words and sings prose for half of his dialogue) and the aloof plot makes this a shoulder shrugger of a movie.
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